16:51 06 January 2014
In an unprecedented move, barristers have staged a half-day strike over government cuts to legal aid, marking the first strike in 800 years since the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) was established back in the 13th century.
They walked out of courtrooms on Monday in their full court regalia saying the cuts brought their profession to the edge of collapse and are endangering justice.
The CBA, which called for the strike, represents 4,000 lawyers. The strike was joined by barristers from 15 different courts across the country.
CBA says that barristers could get as little as £20 a day for work that often involves travel.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling moved to cut another 30per cent from the £2bn-a-year legal aid bill in April. This move, according to leading QC and CBA chairman Nigel Lithman would cripple criminal trials.
He added: "There are simply going to be no people of any ability prepared to do criminal legal aid work.”
"You can put out the earnings of five to 10 people, but you can't run the justice system on the efforts of five to 10 people.”